If you're like me and like to cook and eat good food but can never decide what to make, there are two websites that you should definitely check out.  All Recipes.com and Yahoo! Food are two online communities that bring together Web 2.0 -minded cooks and food lovers.

All Recipes.com is loaded with great features.  Where Yahoo! Food is very search and tag – oriented, All Recipes.com has a heavy focus on connecting people and enabling them to share recipes and ideas.  Among other things, this website allows you to:

  • allrecipes.gif Search recipes by meal type, cuisine type, occasions, and specialty  categories (vegetarian, kid-friendly, etc.);
  • Conduct a search based on the ingredients you have in your kitchen (up to four ingredients) while excluding certain ingredients you don't want in your meal;
  • Create a free account where you can save and store your recipes;
  • Review and rate recipes; read the ratings other members have given recipes;
  • Print out recipes in 3×5, 4×6 or regular format to best fit your own personal recipe box;
  • Share ideas, tips, recipes, and advice with other members.

Overall, this site does a fantastic job of integrating Web 2.0 with a theme of cooking and cuisine.  It's easy to use and has some very tasty recipes listed. 

Yahoo! Food is built on the same basic premise as All Recipes.com, but is slightly more developed.  This site includes a ton of videos and also includes discussions and articles from well-known celebrity chefs, including Rachel Ray, Mario Battali, and others.

While Yahoo! Food is less focused on social networking than All Recipes, its tag-based and popularity-based organization makes it a great tool for finding recipes and food ideas.

This site also goes beyond the discussion of food to including tips for throwing dinner parties or holiday events.  It's also organized around the most popular items: on several of the site's pages, the focus is on the most popular searches, videos, or recipes.  For example, the toolbar labeled "buzz" appears on all the site's pages and presents a tag cloud for popular search terms. 


The site's other search functions are very intuitive and useful.  For example,  the "quick recipe" search function works really well –  you can type in ingredients or the names of recipes. Either way, the search results are spot-on.  The "recipes" page is organized into several categories, and each category has its own tag cloud (pictured at right).  Finally, at the end of each recipes, you have the option to email the recipe, rate the recipe, write a review, or view similar recipes.

One interesting note- it appears that the two sites work in some kind of partnership.  On the Yahoo! Food site you might notice the citation "Technology in partnershp with AllRecipes.com".  AllRecipes.com was the precursor of Yahoo! Food, which was just launched recently.  I am wondering if both sites will continue to exist or if Yahoo! Food will attempt to replace its sister site AllRecipes.com.  It seems like Yahoo! Food also works with "Every Day with Rachel Ray", Martha Stewart, and EatingWell.com for recipe content. 

These sites are two fantastic examples of how social networking and Web 2.0 can be used for purposes other than just personal relationships.  If more organizations and companies (ahem….newspapers and magazines) would take cues from sites like Yahoo! Food and All Recipes.com, I think the quality of online media would improve immensely.

Now if only these sites offered free food samples……